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Smarter You: Balancing Summer Fun and Work

Posted by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 35 Replies

We are in the full-on mode of summer over here...shorts, tank tops, a little bit later bedtimes, more salad-eating than usual. Summer just reeks of taking it easier, slower, less scheduled. Which is all well and good, but for those of us moms (and dads) that work outside of the home or inside of the home or those that are with the kiddos 24-7 too, it can be one of the trickiest times of the year. That juggle we all do of balancing parenting with work, tending to home stuff, cleaning and all of it...when there is no school, no set routine, it can make the juggling act 13 times harder (and more expensive).

I work from home (yes, typing out words, creating posts like this) and summer, as much as I love it, is really hard for me - logistically and emotionally. I want to be frolicking with Kiddo at the playground, but I have deadlines. Deadlines that -- when met -- help to pay bills and get us health insurance, sooooo, I end up working when I really don't want to be. It's just different. When she's in school, she's doing something. In the summer, not in school, her doing something could be with me, but it isn't always.

How do I balance work and fun? How do I try to create a good relationship between my deadline-y must-dos and summer good times? How is the bit of guilt teetering with the load of logistics during the summer months? It ain't easy, I tell you, so I turned to the pros. Here's what they say:

-- Get organized. Grab a big piece of poster board, put on the summer months, and add on work issues, as well as any other must-dos and set things. Then, look at each week, day by day, and see what you have to do. Schedule in the fun time and days off.

-- Work when you are working, and have fun when you are having fun. It's easy to do the former, but I know I get sucked into checking my phone when we are putting together a nanoblock Eiffel Tower or hanging at the playground. Don't do it. Engage, be present, be in the moment. It makes a huge difference for your psyche and your kids.

-- Outsource. Get a babysitter for certain days and look into a science clinic day at the museum or a week-long camp. Then be sure you use that time wisely. Don't tackle the house cleaning or shopping, do that work.

-- Key in on times that throw the schedule off. When do you get off track? Transition from one activity to another, chatting with the sitter when she first arrives or leaves, driving time. Be sure to include all of those or you may cut into the fun or work time allotted.

-- Find another office. I work from home, but when Kiddo is here with a sitter, I get distracted and am not as efficient. That's when I go to my "other office": the coffee shop.

How does your "juggle" change in the summer? Do you find it more difficult to balance everything in the warm days when the kids are out of school?


by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 2:05 AM
We manage. The youngest goes with me to work and I have a cash of friends who help me transport the older 2 places. I have a shut down coming up and hubby was able to get the week off. We just use what time we can.
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 6:12 AM

Some things are harder during the summer, but others are easier. It just depends on if DH is here or not.

I have a monthly meeting for one of the organizations I volunteer for, during the summer they're more difficult to attend because I have to think about child care for at least one of my kids. I also have to take them grocery shopping with me and to my allergy shots which are things I typically do alone while they're in school. It's not really a hassle, it's just different.

by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 8:01 AM
I'm a SAHM, but I do find that it takes a little more work to juggle everything without the time when DS is at school. For me especially, I need to schedule time for projects, technology, etc and then let our play time be play time. DH and I were just talking about this last night.
by Ruby Member on Jun. 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

 thankfully i work at my children's school which means i'm on their schedule in the summer so it's no issue for me! =)

by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 9:50 AM

I'm having a day where I want to escape the office and hit the beach. 

by Ruby Member on Jun. 25, 2013 at 10:15 AM

I am a stay at home mom so it is not to hard to keep things done and have fun with the kids. My husband usually only works 3 days a week so it is pretty easy to find time to do stuff if we get motivated to do it

by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 11:27 AM
SAHM no issues for me!!!!
by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 11:58 AM

 My kids are adults.   So they come visit me in the summer with there families.  It is tuff because I go from a quiet house to a crazy house in a matter of minutes when they all come visit. 


I love when they come and love when they go home.  Then my life gets quiet again. 

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by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 12:26 PM

Our summers were rather relaxing most of the time ;)

by on Jun. 25, 2013 at 1:02 PM
Our schedule stays pretty much the same other than we don't have 1 activity.
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